Zeppelin Airship L21 over Lancashire.

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Zeppelin Airship L21 over Lancashire

Zeppelin Airship L21 over Lancashire

This building is in the village of Holcombe north of Bury, and it used to be the Post Office. The B&W image is from shortly after the events decribed below. You can still see the bomb damage to the stones and windowsills today.

We generally asssociate German air raids on Britain with the Second World War. Yet during WW1, while the south of England was bombed by aircraft, airships bombed civilians further north before proper air defences were organised.

There were two such air raids on Lancashire during WW1. The first in 1916 is described here, while the second – over Wigan in 1918 – was a story I first heard at school in the late 70’s from our headmaster, Norman Jones who was soon to retire. At school assembly one morning Mr Jones appealed to us boys not to play ‘Army’ in the playground (tree branches were machine guns, cakes of dried soil were hand grenades). He told us how, when he was our age, he saw a German Zeppelin airship bring death and destruction to his home town and told us that war was not a game, not something we should enjoy.

His words made an impression on us – that lunchtime in the school yard instead of playing Army we played Zeppelin Bombers over Wigan.

_________________________________________________________________________

For details of air raids on the Bury area during WW2 please see here

___________________________________________________________________________

25 SEPTEMBER 1916

Zeppelin LZ61 (tactical number L21) was commanded by Oberleutnant Kurt Frankenburg who was aged 29. On a clear evening the airship left its base at Nordholz north west of Hamburg along with 6 other airships, and made landfall south of Mablethorpe on the Lincolnshire coast at 2145. The airship was probably at a height of 8,000 feet but seems to have descended for the attack on Bolton. Frankenburg was heading for Derby, but his ship was pushed north by winds.

Passing over a country which was mostly blacked out, L21 hovered over Bacup, then sailed west, dropping bombs on Rawtenstall and Holcombe before moving on to Bolton. After the attack the airship moved north, then north east, dropped one last bomb at Bolton Abbey before crossing the coast again north of Whitby at 0305.

4

Below; Rawtenstall. The first of the bombs fell here, though no-one was injured by any of the explosive and incendiary bombs, all the casualties were in one street in Bolton. The circles roughly mark the places where bombs fell.

Below; The first bomb, an incendiary device, fell at Heightside House (the circle nearest the camera in the photo above). It failed to go off, and is now displayed in a museum in Rawtenstall. Heightside House is now a Nursing Home. Note the incorrect date on the case.

7

Below; LZ61 (L21) at its base in Germany. It was 179 metres long and nearly 20 metres in diameter.

7

Below; Leaving Rawtenstall, the airship turned south and dropped 2 bombs near Ewood Bridge and 6 here at Irwell Vale. The cottages on the left were damaged and the railway was blown out 200 metres to the right of this spot. Another bomb fell at the hamlet of Lumb.

3

Below; 5 explosive bombs were dropped on the village of Holcombe (see also the lead photo above). Oberleutnant Frankenburg circled the nearby town of Ramsbottom, dropping two bombs and another two on Greenmount before being drawn to the glow of Bolton’s foundries. So far 22 bombs had been dropped with no casualties.

4

Below; Over Bolton, Frankenburg released another 23 bombs, among the first being at the far end of this street. Photo by Richard Tierney.

5

Below; Half a dozen bombs fell on and around Kirk Street, destroying and damaging working class housing and killing 13 people; 5 men, 5 women, a 17 year old weaver called Miss Gregory, 5 year old Mary Ellen McDermott (her mother was killed, her father survived) and, along with her mother Mrs Irwin, a “two-year-old babe which was clasped tightly to her breast” according to the Bolton Chronicle. The people of Bolton rallied after the bombing and funds were raised to support those who had suffered in the attack.

Untitled-Scanned-010iknn

Below; Kirk Street has long since gone, Bolton University now occupies the site of this tragedy. Photo by Richard Tierney.

6

Below; Turning north, Oberleutnant Frankenburg took his airship away from the town, dropping a few bombs in the vicinity of the Town Hall. An incendiary fell through the roof of a solicitors’ office in Mawdsley Street but the fire brigade responded before any serious damage was done. Photo by Richard Tierney.
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Upon his return to Germany, Oberleutnant Frankenburg reported that he had succesfully bombed the city of Derby, which is over 60 miles to the south east of Bolton. Two months later, again commanding LZ61 (L21), he was shot down off Lowestoft while returning from a raid. All 17 men on board were killed.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Most details from “Zeppelins Over Lancashire” (1991) by Peter J C Smith. Mr Smith is the authority on these raids, so where details vary between sources, I have gone with Smith.

Map used courtesy of itraveluk
www.itraveluk.co.uk/maps/england.html

Image of Zeppelin LZ61 (commonly referred to as L21) from wikepedia commons
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LZ_61_%28Zeppelin_%27L_21%27%29

Photos of the Bolton sites used with kind permission of Richard Tierney who visited and photographed all the places where bombs fell in his town specifically for this presentation. Thanks again Richard.
Visit his stream here;
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/7749921@N04]
Richard was born (some years after the event!) in Darley Street, Bolton, which had been bombed by Zeppelin L21.

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76 comments on “Zeppelin Airship L21 over Lancashire.
  1. Air Frame Photography says:

    Great story, well done on the research.

  2. Richard Tierney says:

    As always excellent Ian… well put together and researched… My Grandmother knew people killed in Kirk Street, she raced there after hearing the news…..

    I was born some considerable!!!! time later in Darley Street, the site of the first bomb dropped in the raid.

    Happy to have helped.

  3. *Psycho Delia* says:

    Wonderful shot and fascinating research.

  4. andyholmfirth says:

    Great detective work Ian.Looks like they came over Holmfirth or very close.

  5. Ian D B says:

    Thanks everyone.
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyholmfirth]
    Yeah passed north of Sheffield, over the moors in an arc, passed just south of Todmorden and out to Bacup. Will have flown over your neck of the woods Andy.

  6. pasujoba says:

    Thats terrific Ian …and Richard ….it seems such a strange thing to do to bomb Rossendale ….they cannot have really been able to see that they were bombing not much of strategic value!
    A great peice you have put together here , its very interesting and a little known story . I only knew cos Ian had told me already about it .Well done !

  7. pasujoba says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/maycontaintracesofnuts]
    Probaly used Stoodley Pike as a marker , its still very visible from an aircraft today !
    Then again they thought they were in Derby so probaly not !

  8. Benoit Foisy says:

    Thanks Ian for this impressive research – and thanks to the ones who helped you. I learn so many things concerning your great country with your "Iancyclopedia"! Your childhood’s testimony about your teacher, Mr. Jones, made me smile.

  9. SolarScot. says:

    great story Ian

  10. mrrobertwade (wadey) says:

    Ian, you may find these interesting http://www.geograph.org.uk/search.php?i=29256336

  11. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/rossendalewadey]
    Very interesting, great link, cheers.

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/solarscot]
    Thanks John.
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/pasujoba44]
    Stoodley Pike is visible from space.
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/benoitfoisy]
    Lol, too kind Ben.

  12. crusader752 says:

    Great history and research Ian…must have been slightly surreal for those on the ground to see such a machine dispensing death and destruction, particularly back then when aerial warfare was something most people had no real knowlege of – let alone experience…all sort of ungentlemanly too!
    I love your ‘then and now’ work – very cleverly done! :-(

  13. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/29288836@N00]
    Yes, the Germans were referred to as baby-killers, and in this instance they were, not that the British would not have done the same had they had a fleet of airships. But there is something very sinister and spooky about a Zeppelin sailing silently overhead in the dark and dropping bombs on people as they lay in their beds. Thanks Rob.

  14. Kingsdude/Dave says:

    Great set of photos and background history as ever Ian – amazing that a Zeppelin would travel so far and bomb almost on a random basis.

  15. bill_fawcett says:

    Brilliant piece of research, wonderful narrative and photographs! Still smiling at "we played ‘Zeppelin Bombers over Wigan’…." – typical kids!

  16. nondesigner59 says:

    Fantastic information.. Great work.

  17. mick cooke says:

    brilliant work ian and aload of great information must have done alot of research but crike ian it makes interesting reading as you always do a great job
    many thanks
    take care

  18. Testchamber says:

    Really interesting. Do you have any info on where bombs were dropped on Wigan etc.

  19. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/testchamber]
    Thank you. Yes, I’ll send you an email.

  20. Keartona says:

    Thes stories could easily get lost in the passage of time.

  21. Highy says:

    Great stuff Ian, well researched and thoughtfully put together. Love the playing Zeppelin bombers bit.

    Hard to imagine but for some folks the first aircraft they ever saw would have been one that bombed them, as you say very sinister indeed.

  22. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/27955898@N07] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/highy]
    Thanks both, and for the heads-up Al.

  23. f3liney says:

    A fascinating piece Ian.
    WW1 raids get such little coverage these days.
    I ditto your comment about it giving a sense of what a sinister thing it must have been for a rural community to have a modern monstrosity like that passing overhead dropping bombs indiscriminately.

  24. Gizzardtreedude says:

    Brilliant piece of work yet again. thoroughly interesting and presented just perfectly in word and vision
    :-)

  25. gastephen says:

    Wonderful stuff, Ian. I liked your story about your playground games! Hard to imagine what it must have been like in those WWI air raids.

  26. RAZEL DAZEL says:

    Very interesting, a lot of work.
    Very well done.
    Cheers.

  27. cgullz says:

    before i read the above, i just have to say holy smokes batman. and i thought you were tired! i’ll be back in a week when i have had a chance to give all the above information the justice in time it deserves.

  28. cgullz says:

    btw for the last couple of weeks i have been reading "Nightfighter" by Ken Delve, with the first chapter dedicated to WWI and the Zeppelin attacks. a bit hard going with lots of info and comparative info between the two ‘sides’, but some great accounts and insights into night ops.

  29. Through Collette's eyes says:

    Really interesting piece Ian especially when it’s so close to home – I had no idea!

  30. Air Frame Photography says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/angwickham] Im reading that book now as well….will go back and read that part again…

  31. cgullz says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/tupperware_pilot] lol, my memory is shite so i will have to as well hahaa

  32. cgullz says:

    fantastic ready Ian – and who wouldn’t want to read all of it?! superbly conducted presentation, great research and images. looks like Richard had to dodge the showers for his cool wide and clear pix!
    making history relevant today: pretty much your work in a catchphrase, if i can say. .. seems you’ve been doing that since you were a wee lad in the schoolyard ;)

    re: the Ken Delve book, p 27 outlines how the Royal Naval Air Service pilots Edward Pulling and Egbert Cadbury made "concerted attacks" on L21 from their B.E 2c aircraft [very WWI looking biplanes for sure!], until it fell to the sea [Yarmouth area].
    an interesting aside is that the appendix notes that there were a total of 7 Zeppelins tasked with attacking York, Bolton and Sheffield that night [causing almost 40,000 pounds damage].

    i agree with you and [http://www.flickr.com/photos/highy] – sinister indeed. and darn scary.

  33. stopherjones says:

    Superb work Ian, good to have you back, these combined old and new photos really bring your stories to life, and the additional info and photos even more so.
    LOL at you going off to play Zeppelins ;)

  34. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/angwickham][http://www.flickr.com/photos/tupperware_pilot]
    Re; "Nightfighter" by Ken Delve, I am at work at the moment so am going off memory but yeah, the details surrounding the shooting down of L21 seem the same as I have. It was a couple of months after this raid. There’s a painting of it being shot down, somewhere. Thanks for your comments Ang, always much appreciated.
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/stopherjones] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/55833562@N00][[http://www.flickr.com/photos/27830296@N06] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/gastephen] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/31728747@N04]
    One of the few memories I have from way back then was Mr Jones telling us that story and instead of being bothered by it as intended, the story thrilled us.
    I also recall getting caned by Mr Jones for kicking in the toilet door when it had only just been replaced but it wasn’t me, it was Christopher Worswick what done it, only I got blamed for it. Though to be fair on Jonesy, he did cane both of us just to be on the safe side.

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/cameragirl6] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/f3liney]
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/razeldazel] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/reflectionsreturn]
    Cheers guys, thanks for taking the time to read through it all . History is all around us!

  35. ~SheebaC says:

    - thank you, Ian … so much of this — unknown to me
    – yet, war is not a game
    – there is no such thing as a Holy War — regardless of who you are
    – blessed be the day when humans understand war solves nothing

    – a bit on the lighter side — my 90+ Mother said once, "if they want to fight, fine… put them all on a barge in the middle of the ocean.. they can fight there.."
    – she was a pistol !

  36. Chris D 93 says:

    WOW!! Very interesting read!!! Thank you!! :)

  37. bazylek100 says:

    Superb documentation! The lead photo itself is a striking combination.
    I’ve just recently read a book about air forces and their operations in the Great War. There is a chapter devoted in whole to the Zeppelin operations over England, but the dry facts and details presented in a rather boring way in the book do not come up to your immersive reportage enriched by the ‘then and now’ photos. Great research from you, Ian, and presented in a very interesting way.

  38. cgullz says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/maycontaintracesofnuts] looks like Christopher Worswick’s just been outed lol .. shame on him for not owning up!

  39. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisdrewery] Thank you!
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/tincangypzee] Your Mum had it right!
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/angwickham] Lol. I wonder if he’d remember it now. I bet he says the same about me!
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/bazylek]
    Thanks Robin, very kind of you to say so. Feedback like this keeps me doing it!

  40. Stezzer says:

    Love the way you do these, and attach all the history with them. I’ve had time to go over what you’ve said at work but been unable to leave a comment until now. You’ve inspired me to try this but I think it will take a lot of effort from someone like me. Still, you are an inspiration and I love this, went big at the window sills for an extra wow factor ~ nice one ~_^

  41. rob of rochdale says:

    absolutely stunning pieceof research there Ian. Love that first photo!

  42. cgullz says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/maycontaintracesofnuts] hahaa, the two sides to every story ;)

  43. Neal. says:

    We have a building near us bombed by a Zep, not much left to see now though. Lots of interesting stuff here :)

  44. Billy Currie says:

    love seeing the photos blended, gives a very accurate picture. Loads of great info as well.

  45. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/billycurrie] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/31878512@N06] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/longsidepies] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/angwickham] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/24167533@N02]
    Many thanks all! There’s something rewarding about doing then and now photos, when it all clicks into place. And infuriating when it doesn’t. Brett thanks for your kind words! You should give it a go, loads of stuff around the city centre to go at.

  46. hannes vosgerau | unknown711 says:

    Fascinating picture and series!

    This is my blog | hannesvosgerau.blogspot.com

  47. Tech Owl says:

    Fabulous compilation Ian – I know many people have said but you really have to put all this together in a book!!!

  48. het broertje van.. says:

    Brilliant Ian!!

    Janwillem

  49. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/unknown711] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/het_broertje]
    Thanks chaps, very kind of you.

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/cachelog]
    Nice of you to say that Bryan, but this has already been very well covered in a book, it was the prime source of info. Zeppelins over Lancashire, by Peter J C Smith, published by Neil Richardson.
    http://www.bookshop.mlfhs.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info...

  50. P.A.B. says:

    Always impressed by the knowledge and time you put into these peices Ian, I know others have mentioned books but have you ever exhibited or thought of exhibiting your work?

  51. PaulEBennett says:

    Thanks for taking such an effort to tell us this story.

  52. IANLAYZELLUK says:

    Clever Image.

  53. Dirk Bruin says:

    Very interesting story, nicely documented.

  54. Smallbrainfield says:

    Excellent stuff. Nice superimposed image.

  55. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/phils-phots]
    Thank you very much Phillip. Apologies for the late reply – been away again, more catching up to do.
    Re; a book or exhibiting my stuff… I wouldn’t know where to start really. If asked, I’d be delighted but I don’t suppose it works like that, people just asking if they can exhibit stuff.

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/63342954@N07] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/ianlayzellphotographs] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/dirk_bruin_vlieland] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/smallbrainfield]

    Many thanks guys, kind of you to look and comment.

  56. Fiona in Eden says:

    Fantastic concept and creation. Fascinating.

  57. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/heandfi]
    Thank you!

  58. Mike J Chapman says:

    Love the way you’ve combined the two images. Very effective and neatly done.

  59. davidbr04 says:

    i had no idea about any of these attacks so this is a real eye opener ,thank you for the research and photos ,brilliant stuff

  60. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/87893696@N00]
    Cheers Mike, it’s not easy to get precisely the same viewpoint and focal length the original photpgrapher used. Trial and error and lots of photos from the same spot!

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/27634488@N04]

    Sort of feedback I love to hear, thanks David!

  61. Eric Lomo says:

    Yes, I love this. Beautiful! 0. Ian D B

  62. prajpix says:

    fantastic story and work!

  63. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/ericlomo] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/whosthatcharlie]
    Thanks chaps!

  64. GregHausM.D. says:

    Amazing photos and information! So, you played "Zeppelin Bombers"! We were in the Cold War and one game was "Bomb Shelter". Very grim for kids to contemplate either thing!

    I’ve been watching a great documentary called "The War", but Ken Burns, on PBS. It focuses on the American battles in Europe and the Pacific, but does show some incredible footage of the landing in Normandy, with British troops. ‘

    One man from Connecticut was captured in France and when asked by a German officer where he was from, he thought, "How will this guy know?" He answered, "Waterbury, Connecticut." The German said, "Oh, yes, it’s where the Naugatuck River and Mad River meet." The American was stunned. The Mad River is so small, he was sure no European had heard of it.

    "How did you know about those?" he asked.
    "I was training to be an administrator there." The German replied.
    The American was confused. Did the man mean before the war? No, he explained, he was meant to take charge of that area when Hitler invaded the U.S.! He really thought he could do it!

  65. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/vercettisworld]

    Thank you very much! Yeah kids’ war games were grim, we didn’t understand what it meant. I suppose that’s how most wars are fought, with kids who know no better…

    Anyway that’s a great story. You can come here again with tales like that! I shall do a search on youtube for that documentary.

    Hitler certainly had designs on both UK and US, and right up to the end of the war, German scientists were working on V2 rockets which would reach the US Eastern Seaboard. Like you say, they really believed it. In 1940, the RAF and Royal Navy held off Nazis preparation for invasion, but thankfully Adolf’s heart wasn’t in it, his desire for conquest lay in the east, which was lucky for us.

  66. GregHausM.D. says:

    So I guess we have to thank the Soviets for something, right? My dad went from them being allies to the "Red Menace" pretty fast after the war, like most of the U.S. did, though.

    He was in the Burma Theater (why do they call them "theaters" like its’ a floggin’ play?). He flew C-47’s, I think, over the Himalayas from India to China. Apparently, I found out decades later, I was the only one of his kids with whom he shared some truly horrific war experiences. Probably there was no one else he felt would sympathize. It’s no wonder i became a pacifist and anti-war activist in the 1960’s and to this day. I can’t say that any war since WWII was one we HAD to fight!

  67. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/vercettisworld]
    The Soviets were well regarded in Britain (by the people if not by Churchill) because they took the Luftwaffe away.

    Partly because of that, post-war UK had a very different attitude to the USSR than was probably the case in the USA, British students even now might have Soviet posters up in their rooms. It is politically acceptable to be a Communist but not a Nazi. Which is illogical, Stalin was just as bad a bastard as Hitler, but so it goes.

    Interesting to read of your Dad’s war. Sounds really exciting – flying transporters over that sort of country, but I imagine a romantic view of it 70 years on would not be one shared by your Dad.

    Wars we had to fight….? Good question. I think Britain was dead right to defend the Falkland Islands against Argentina, an attack on sovereignty can’t be ignored. But otherwise, yeah I’m with you.

    My Dad served in the Royal Navy during WWII, he was on the Russian Convoys.

  68. GregHausM.D. says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/maycontaintracesofnuts] Well, I can see how people in Britain, after the bombing, would have a much more positive view of the Russians. For the U.S., there wasn’t much fear of Germans bombing us (only the Japanese, on the West coast and Hawaii, for good reason). I think much of the anti-Soviet furor was fueled by Senator McCarthy and the House Unamerican Activities Committee–HUAC–persecuting people who were accused of being "Reds". I don’t know how that maniac and his henchman got away with it; there was so little pro-Communist sentiment by that time, it was insane to think it was a "menace".

    It was fashionable and to some extent, reasonable, during the protests of the 60’s and 70’s, to admire Communism, since we were so anti-Capitalist. Unlike many of my coevals, though, I never idolized the Soviets or Communist China, since they were just as oppressive as the Nazis. They still are, in China anyway. You can believe in the ideal of Communism without having to jump ship and become a Soviet Citizen, like many did during the time of the Bolshevik Revolution. But back then, they didn’t know what would happen, how chaotic and corrupt it would be.

    Your Dad’s time in the Navy sounds really interesting! I never imagined British or American forces actually assisting the Soviets!

    Your assessment of the Falklands is probably a view that most Americans anyway, would not like. I don’t know much about it, but the word "sovereignty" reminds me of the word "suzerainty", used to justify the Boer War. many British were against that war, at least until Black Week. I’m not saying the U.S. hasn’t had the same philosophy when it comes to countries we basically "own", but they’re too clever, or too obvious (I’m not sure which) to use the word "sovereignty"–it is too much associated with monarchy and non-democratic rule, though our society and government has drifted so far from even representative democracy, it’s idiotic or hypocritical to criticize those who don’t have it, like places in the Middle East.

  69. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/vercettisworld]
    No, I know most people in the US would object to the term sovereignty, would see it as a total anathema. Should’ve thought carefully before using that word, it is a natural concept over here, an attack on the state is an attack on sovereignty (we’d view Pearl Harbour the same way). There isn’t enough space in a Flickr comment to go into it properly, but in the case of the Falkland Islands the people there want to be governed by Britain. If they didn’t, the British public would not have supported the war and would say the islands should be governed by Argentina.

    As for McCarthyism, that paranoia never took hold over here. In the US it survived; even in the mid 90’s people entering the US were asked if they were or had ever been a Communist. Now they ask if you are or have ever been a terrorist, a prostitute or a Nazi.

    evisaforms.state.gov/ds156.asp

    I think Charlie Chaplin was a victim of those witch hunts, not sure how it impacted on him though…. need to look it up.

    The Boer War and Black Week….? You know more than me, I shall have to look that up as well!

  70. GregHausM.D. says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/maycontaintracesofnuts]

    We don’t USE the term "Sovereignty", I think, mainly due to its root word! Americans still get all shirty about anything that smacks of a monarchy or ruling class, though we certainly have one! Our government also invades countries who do not necessarily want to be ruled by us, like South Vietnam, Kuwait, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and so on, but our think tanks just drum up some fictitious weapons, up the "terrorist threat", tell the proles who to be afraid of and then chant "Democracy!" and "Support our Troops!" (once they’re in)…and you have basically the same thing, only without us asking the other country if they want us there!

    Yes, Charlie Chaplin was definitely a victim of the Red Scare! Even icons like Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, who went to Washington to challenge HUAC, were put on lists, threatened and victimized. It’s been a non-stop, semi-secret war since the 50’s, with Nixon infiltrating the anti-War mvt. and bugging Democratic Party offices (most notoriously, Watergate). My high school teacher was fired for being a Communist. Ugh…better not get me going on this! I could talk all day. Just look at how the Right-Wing is actually accusing Obama of being a Socialist (like it’s horrible!), a Communist AND a "secret Muslim"! None of it makes sense. But in the US, things rarely do any more. People here are just too blind and/or ignorant to get it.

  71. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/vercettisworld]
    On the other hand you have Family Guy, the funniest and most honest social commentary on TV, in my not very humble opinion!

  72. GregHausM.D. says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/maycontaintracesofnuts] Drat! I must disagree, to remain honest! I used to hate that show, but after watching it despite my initial response (I often do that, with good results), I can only give it a C+. IF they ditched the baby, the dog and the father, it’d be a riot! It has a left-wing sensibility, which I like, but unlike "The Simpsons", treads too carefully around Fox, its network. If you really want a take-no-prisoners, everyone-is-fair-game comedy, then "South Park" is it. You must often wade through fecal and homoerotic humor…and worse, but it’s worth it! No one is sacred!

  73. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/vercettisworld]
    No worries, it’d be a boring place if we all liked the same thing! I thought Seth MacFarlane took the piss out of Fox a fair bit – Fox threatened to sue over some remarks made until it was pointed out that Fox actually owned the show!

    I loved the first series of South Park (about 1999?) but then lost interest for some reason. I used to love the Simpsons until Family Guy, now I can’t watch it. The common thread is they are US shows. Nothing as edgy comes out of the UK, we get that from stand-up such as Frankie Boyle. Yet I have never watched an episode of American Dad….

    Ah well. Family Guy is one of the few shows on TV which will have me laughing out loud. And the cutaway scenes are superb, but then other people hate it for the same reason. A pseudo leftie talking dog, a psycho baby with an English accent and a peadophile who is never arrested? I can see why people are irritated by it.

  74. Paul says:

    Hi Ian ….did you get the info from the book ‘The Baby Killers’ by Thomas Fegan …. just bought it yesterday …from the flea market in hebden …looks a good read and covers these incidents a little .

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